Frankie Gavin & De Dannan (IRL)

Not many of Tønder Festival’s musicians can boast of appearing on a stamp, but Frankie Gavin can. In 2008, a 55c stamp was printed with Gavin and the other members of the original De Dannan, Alec Finn, Johnny “Ringo” McDonagh, Charlie Piggot and Dolores Keane. That says something about the status this band has in Irish music. In the 1970s, when Irish traditional music really stormed the major stages, De Dannan were one of the most popular and long-lived bands. The partnership of Frankie Gavin on violin and Alec Finn on the Greek bouzouki set new standards for Irish music. De Dannan made their name with their eminent intrumentals and beautiful ballads sung by Mary Black, Eleanor Shanley and the afore-mentioned Dolores Keane. Frankie Gavin has played with masters like Stephane Grappelli and Joe Derrane and recorded with the likes of The Rolling Stones and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. De Dannan have performed many times at Tønder Festival, first in 1985. Relations between Frankie Gavin and Alec Finn were cool for a while, after a quarrel about rights to the band name, but they made it up and played together again until Alec Finn died in 2018. Their only Danish festival in 2023.